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MMD > Archives > January 1997 > 1997.01.19 > 06Prev  Next

Re: Player Piano Co.
By Karl Ellison

I recently submitted buy-bids for the QRS roll auction #50 by email.

I enclosed a postscript in it suggesting that they put their email address on their letterhead, mailings, catalogs (full of junk!), etc. Even though I suggested that they were actually preventing people from being exposed to and from buying their merchandise by not doing so, it was a politely worded paragraph from a customer. I received an email response back the next day, reproduced here in all it's un-capitalized splendor:

   "auction bid received."

I have a feeling that is an employee's computer, not QRSs. Perhaps they are still using dial-telephones too.

I experienced the _very same_ rudeness Doug Adam experienced at PPCo., only mine was about the way I wrote in the prices in the price column of the order forms. I used superscripted numbers in the 'cents' column, along with European number 7s. A curt note along with boldly overwritten numbers were on my order copy. When I phoned in an order twice, I had the distinct feeling that I had interrupted their day. Isn't that a laugh? The orders took over a week to arrive, to boot.

It's arrogance, plain and simple, to make the customer feel that they've done something wrong. The customer is the only reason for their existence. Virtually no competition in the field gives them virtual license to do so. I fully expect this treatment at McDonalds, Sears, and other establishments that pay $4.95/hr to their front people. I've lowered my expectations so that when I encounter a smiling, helpful clerk, I'm pleasantly surprised. I could never understand this -- to the customer, the front-people *are* the company!

Why not put someone out front who gives a damn (that is to say, paid decently)? Okay, okay, so the player supply business ain't no gold mine, so some sales reps at PPCo. are base-caliber professionals, but put them in the back room sorting parts, for cripes sakes! Since they are one of a limited number of supply houses, you will continue to take it. Sure, you know where the door is, but with limited alternatives, it's hard to vote with your feet.

I read a poster that proffered reasons why customers go away: 2% die, 4% move away, 10% for pricing reasons, blah blah, and 60% because of the way they were treated by a company representative.

Karl Ellison
Ashland, Massachusetts U. S. A.

(Message sent Sun 19 Jan 1997, 14:18:02 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Co, Piano, Player

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